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Local veteran Stu Russell honored as House’s ‘Veteran of the Week’

Ponca City Now - April 18, 2019 4:07 pm

Rep. Ken Luttrell, a Republican, serves District 37 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which includes parts of Kay and Osage Counties.

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Ken Luttrell, R-Ponca City, honored Edward S. “Stu” Russell as the “Veteran of the Week” at the Oklahoma State Capitol on Monday.

“Mr. Russell embodies the very spirit of the phrase ‘veterans serving veterans,’” Luttrell, also a veteran, said during the ceremony. “He shares his story of military service with other veterans, civic groups and veterans’ organizations. His story has helped countless veterans deal with their reentry to civilian life, depression and PTSD.

“You cannot count the number of veterans that his story has impacted and the difference it’s made in their lives.”

Russell served in the U.S. Navy as a storekeeper 3rd Class aboard the USS Pueblo during the Vietname War. The ship was attacked in January 1968 by North Korean naval vessels and MIG Jets, which left one seaman dead and 12 wounded.

Following the attack, Russell and his remaining shipmates were held as prisoners of war in North Korea for 11 months.

“The atrocities Mr. Russell endured on behalf of our country are unspeakable,” Luttrell said. “His courage and fortitude are unquestioned. He has lived his life as an example of patriotism, loyalty, service and bravery.”

Following the ceremony, Russell led the House in the pledge of allegiance to begin the week. Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell later joined Luttrell to present Russell with a U.S. flag that had been flown over the Capitol in his honor.

 

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